Sunday, 10 September 2017

The joys of sketching in Loddon

Only a six of us out today - perhaps the early morning fog or the distance from Norwich was the problem, who knows? Nevertheless, we knuckled down to some sketching with a couple of us choosing to work by the Church, the rest of us down by the staithe and the river Chet.

Years ago a tutor of mine used to say that "wherever you are there is always something to paint". I have always remembered this mantra so never walk far or spend hours looking for a subject. This held true today. Less than 200 yards down a footpath from the staithe, across a badly broken bridge that I was a little hesitant to cross, was this view across the water meadows.

I used my trusty Faber-Castell Pitt Brush pen to quickly establish the basic shapes then added a few watercolour washes to complete the sketch; in all perhaps 25 minutes work, at the most half and hour.

"Boatyard, Loddon"

Unfortunately, it was down hill all the way from then on. I thought I would use the sketch as reference for a small acrylic painting so opened my pochade box and started to squeeze out paint onto the palette. That's when I dropped an open, full tube of titanium white which went everywhere: on my hands, my coffee flask, the pochade box, the grass, my chair!!!

I then used up all the water and all the paper towels I had brought with me - which were meant for painting - to clean up the mess.

At that point I gave up and retired to the wonderful Rosie Lee's for a life saving coffee and a chat with my artist friends, most of whom had had a better morning than me, before the drive home. Hardly a successful morning but welcome to the joys of painting "en plein air".

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